A defence of anarchist organisation (i.e., self-management) against Leninist claims that it is "undemocratic." It shows that the logical position of this so-called critique is centralised rule by one person.
As anarchists we hope to help build communication between people engaged in struggle and inform a growing proportion of the real facts of such struggles. The other related aspect of an anarchist newspaper will be articles that sketch out what anarchism aims to achieve and what the history and current reality of that struggle
The last year or so has seen a hectic period for activists in Ireland. From the May 6th Gardai attack on Reclaim the Streets in Dublin, through the anti-war campaigns, people have been coming into conflict with the state. In Dublin, we are now in the middle of a struggle with local anti-bin tax groups across the city taking action to defeat the councils refusal to collect rubbish.
This collection of three articles examines the how and why of anarchist organization. The first is a look at the success of the network form of organization and why it came to the fore in the current period. It then looks at the limitations of that form or organization. The second articles looks at the organizational practise of the first anarchists and in particular Michael Bakunin and re-examines the different levels of organization he advocated in the light of the needs of anarchists today. The final article asks why anarchist organizations mostly failed to grow following the collapse of the left and identifies why large scale anarchist organizations are essential if we are to ever overthrow capitalism.
The Russian revolutionary Micheal Bakunin is often presented as the 'founding father' of anarchism. He was a larger than life figure whose disputes with Marx in the 1st international form an essential role in the clarification of the role of the vanguard and of the state in the revolutionary process. Yet his concrete ideas on anarchist organisation are not so well known.
With the emergence of the summit protest movement into the public eye after J18 and Seattle, anarchism gained an influence way beyond what the numbers of anarchists and the level of anarchist organisation might have led you to predict. Quite quickly in the English speaking world, anarchism emerged from being a fairly obscure and historical critique of the left to become one of the main poles in the globalisation movement.
It is an old cliché that anarchists are against organisation - the media loves to point out an imagined contradiction between anarchism and organisation. The reality is that (among other things) anarchism is a theory of organisation. The circled A often seen sprayed on walls represents the A of anarchism within the O of organisation. [In Greek]
Insurrections - the armed rising of the people - has always been close to the heart of anarchism. The first programmatic documents of the anarchist movement were created by Bakunin and a group of European left-republican insurrectionists as they made the transition to anarchism in Italy in the 1860's. This was not a break with insurrectionism but with left-republicanism, shortly afterwards Bakunin was to take part in an insurrection in Lyon in 1870.